CHILD works tirelessly with individual State legislaturs to remove the legal exemptions that some parents claim from State laws that require parents to provide medical care for their children, regardless of their own personal or religious beliefs. I have seen the founder of CHILD, Rita Swan, present her case with great compassion and powerful impact. She reaches the hearts of the legislators, motivating them to put the health of children above the personal beliefs and religious "freedom" of their parents. Ms. Swan travels tirelessly to State after State, working with attorneys and health professionals to overturn the exemptions from child protection laws that many States have passed under the pressure of the Christian Science Church and similar cults that claim that Christ will do a better job than doctors in treating children's illnesses, even when the illnesses are life threatening. Over the past several years, Ms. Swan has acheived success in many States, thus greatly improving or even saving the lives of many children. CHILD does not have a large fund raising departement. It devotes almost all of its contributions to travelling and lobbying state legislatures throughout the country. The only thing donors receive from CHILD is a bimonthly newsletter documenting the poignant stories of child endangerment and the success CHILD has had. I can't think of a more worthy cause than protecting the health, and sometimes the lives, of innocent children. CHILD, working with minimal funding, has acheived great success in rescuing children from the cruel practices of some parents who allow their children to suffer or even die because they believe that God will protect them or, shudder, allow them to suffer and die because God wills it.
I have supported CHILD for a few years now and was impressed with their dedication to children's health. The organizations leaders actually moved to my state, Oregon, to urge lawmakers to repeal exemptions to prosecution for neglect and endangerment of children by their misguided parents. They were critical to the success of passing legislation in Oregon to help ensure children's access to proper medical intervention. I applaud their every effort and will continue to support this important work.
I have admired the work of CHILD for almost twenty years. No other organization is solely committed to helping children subject to religious-based medical neglect. And CHILD has been remarkably effective in reaching policymakers and achieving change. In 2010 alone, CHILD representatives testified before the Wisconsin legislature, lobbied the United States Congress, and urged prosecutors in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Washington to prosecute fully parents who permitted their children to die of treatable illnesses. This past spring, CHILD focused its efforts on achieving legislative change in Oregon, and it succeeded: on June 9 Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law an emergency bill removing Oregon’s religious exemptions pertaining to medical care of sick and injured children. CHILD is the model of a small nonprofit achieving real change.
Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. is an excellent organization that makes a difference by advocating for a class of children who are at risk (children whose parents hold strict religious beliefs that prevent them from seeking medical care for their sons and daughters). I have experienced firsthand the seriousness of a scenario when medical care is withheld from a child because of religious beliefs--36 years ago when I was a 10-year-old child I saw the suffering of an older sibling who received no traditional medical treatment for a painful and ultimately disabling condition. I appreciate the work of CHILD Inc. to provide information about the dangers of child abuse or neglect related to religion. I greatly value CHILD Inc.’s targeted lobbying efforts to reverse laws that currently offer religious exemptions from child health and safety laws. I urge others who care about the well-being of children in the United States to make a donation to CHILD, Inc. and support the work of an extremely efficient organization that makes the most of its resources.
CHILD is an advocacy organization that works to eliminate religious exemptions to child protections. Most of us would never dream of denying our children all medical treatment, everything from noninvasive hearing/vision tests, to pain relief (even aspirin), to lifesaving insulin for type I diabetes. But some churches have successfully lobbied to exempt religious parents from providing such common-sense care.
CHILD documents how such exemptions have led to children being permanently harmed or killed for lack of treatment. These cases are tragedies for parents as well as for children. Most parents are not scofflaws and wish to do what the law requires. Also, these exemptions falsely give the impression that our government believes faith healing to be just as good as standard care. Children of all religions deserve to survive their childhoods so that they can make decisions for themselves.
CHILD has made a positive difference for many children through education, legal action, lobbying, and research. As far as I'm aware, CHILD is the only organization dedicated to this issue.
CHILD does wonderful work in the legislative field which has been discussed in other reviews. And that is absolutely vital. The legal issues MUST be brought to the public’s attention.
But religious abuse also causes emotional trauma. The unseen psychological damage that can be caused by faith-healing religions can literally destroy people’s lives. Even if you are not subjected to VISIBLE horrible deaths and illnesses, being exposed to this type of irrational thinking can cause deep INVISIBLE lifelong damage.
Having been denied medical care as a child, I had many difficulties which had a negative impact on my adult life. For example, I suffered from untreated asthma and allergies. Granted, these are not life-threatening, but can make life extremely difficult and cause significant emotional fallout. I consider CHILD as “Adult Children of Christian Scientists.” (You can insert the name of any other damaging religion.) We suffered many abuses similar to those that children of alcoholics and other addicts are subjected to.
CHILD educates the public. Bringing the abuse to the public’s attention through the legal channels will help all affected children.
I have been the Board Chairman of Children's healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc., for twelve years, and I was a Board member for some time before that. I consider it a privilege to have worked with the tremendously talented and dedicated founders of the organization, Rita and Doug Swan. They reacted to a tragic loss of their son because of religiously motivated refusal of medical help for the son, who died as a result. Instead of retreating into a life of solitude they renounced their previous religious affiliation and founded CHILD, Inc. They have worked tirelessly to influence state and federal legislators to eliminate exemptions to child-guarding laws that mandate medical treatment for children regardless of the religious or personal beliefs of the parents that would prevent such treatment. In my work as Chairman I have striven to promote the objectives of the organization and to bring principles of good organizational practice to the administration of the group. Though clear legislative victories have been few for CHILD, Inc., those that have been achieved have been decisive and life-saving for children whose fates would have been tragic indeed without the work of this organization. It is a pleasure as I retire from the Chairmanship to endorse fully the continuing work and to applaud all who support it, especially the Swans.
this organization does amazing work with a limited budget. Rita and her husband helped change the statutes in oregon that allowed parents to avoid their legal duty to provide medical care to their children. these parents were using spiritual treatment as their only method of providing medical care to their children. many of these children died because of this neglect. we started to eliminate these statutes in 1999 and finished with the last 4 statutes this session. the governor has signed the bill into law. without rita's dedication to this issue the statutes would never have been changed. the children of oregon are eternally grateful to her hard work.
Does amazing work, nationally, in educating public and legislators regarding the extreme harm (including death) done to children in the name of religion or other extremist beliefs and practices of parents. The president is indefatiguable and with limited resources
Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD) protects children from abuse and neglect caused by religious and cultural practices. Decades ago, Christian Scientists, who reject medical treatment, succeeded in getting almost all states to enact exemptions allowing parents to rely solely on prayer when their children are ill. As a result, many children have needlessly suffered permanent health issues and many have died. In most cases, the children suffered from illnesses that would have been easily and quickly resolved with medical intervention.
Thus, these state-approved exemptions have harmed children. In addition, the exemptions give religious parents the impression that the government endorses their prayer-only practices.
CHILD works to remove these harmful exemptions from state law. CHILD believes that the right of vulnerable children to get appropriate healthcare far outweighs the right of parents to neglect those children. CHILD has successfully reversed exemptions in several states. Most recently (2011), the director of CHILD, Rita Swan, demonstrated her dedication by temporarily moving from Iowa to Oregon to get the Oregon legislature to end religious defenses for homicide.
In addition, CHILD works to ensure that children are appropriately vaccinated, without exception for religious belief. The group also lobbies for the licensing of all childcare facilities, including those run by churches.